Miscanthus floridulus

Common Name: Pacific Island silvergrass 
Type: Ornamental grass
Family: Poaceae
Native Range: Japan, Ryukyu Islands, Taiwan, Guam
Zone: 6 to 9
Height: 8.00 to 12.00 feet
Spread: 2.00 to 4.00 feet
Bloom Time: August to February
Bloom Description: Reddish tan
Sun: Full sun
Water: Medium to wet
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Rain Garden
Flower: Showy, Good Cut, Good Dried
Leaf: Colorful, Good Fall
Attracts: Birds
Other: Winter Interest
Tolerate: Drought, Dry Soil, Black Walnut, Air Pollution


Easily grown in average, medium to wet soils in full sun. Tolerant of a wide range of soils from well-drained sandy soils to the heavy clays present in much of the St. Louis area. Best in moist soils with full sun. Less vigorous with decreased flowering and tendency to flop in shady locations. Tolerant of summer heat and humidity. Clumps slowly expand in circumference by short rhizomes, but retain clump shape. Though clumps may grow quite tall, they seldom need staking. Clumps should be left standing throughout the winter for visual interest and to provide protection for the crowns. Cut foliage back to the ground in early spring just before the new leaf blades appear.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Miscanthus floridulus, commonly called giant miscanthus or giant Chinese silver grass, is noted for its large size, its somewhat coarse foliage and its feathery inflorescences which have a prominent central rachis as opposed to the tassel-like inflorescences of the popular Miscanthus sinensis and its cultivars. It is native to lowland areas in certain Asian islands in the Pacific Ocean and will generally grow in wetter soils than most other species of Miscanthus. It is also one of the tallest of the eulalia grasses. Features a massive upright foliage clump rising 6-8' tall of wide (to 1.5"), arching, green leaves on erect, tough, vertical stems. Tiny pink-tinged flowers in feathery inflorescences appear in late summer on stalks rising well above the foliage to 8-12' tall. Inflorescences turn silvery as the seed sets, with the continuing flower effect of the plumes lasting well into if not through the winter. Foliage acquires purplish tints in autumn, gradually turning to uniform tan by winter. Leaves often drop to the ground during the winter leaving only the stiff stems (culms).

Genus name comes from the Greek words miskos meaning a stem and anthos meaning flower in reference to the stalked spikelets.


No frequently occurring insect or disease problems. In some areas of the U.S., miscanthus mealybug and miscanthus blight are becoming significant problems. Miscanthus mealybug causes stunted growth and is difficult to eradicate because it lives inside the stems. Miscanthus blight is a fungal disease which attacks the blades and sheaths.


This ornamental grass needs a large space. Accent, specimen, grouping, mass or screen. Borders, meadows, wild gardens, cottage gardens, naturalized areas, low spots or pond/water garden peripheries.